The Discalced Carmelites in the Holy Land

The Discalced Carmelites returned to Mt. Carmel and settled in a definitive way.
They are presently organized in a General Delegation counting some 15 members hailing from different parts of the world: Australia, Brazil, India, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mexico, Poland and Spain.

Twelve of them live in the Stella Maris Monastery, which is considered the Mother House and serves as the Spiritual center for the entire Order.

The friars strive to live according to the tradition of the Carmel, following the footsteps of their forerunners, on the path shown by St. Teresa.

As an expression of their burning zeal for the living God, they actively participate in the Liturgy of the Hours and the Eucharistic Celebration and they consecrate contemplative prayer.

The friars welcome the Pilgrims who visit the Church, offering their spiritual and pastoral presence. They spiritually follow several religious communities in Haifa and the surroundings. Their pastoral service extends also to the Filipinos, Indians and Sri Lankans working in Haifa and the nearby area.

The friars of Stella Maris are also present at El-Muhraqa, another compound which belongs to the Discalced Carmelites. Located at the top of Mt. Carmel, it is traditionally identified as the site of the dramatic episode in which Elijah, in the presence of King Ahab and the people of Israel, challenged the prophets of Baal and called a fire from Heaven, which burnt and consumed the sacrifice as proof of who the true God really is.

The Order of the Discalced Carmelites is committed to promote and make El-Muhraqa known. This place preserves the memory of an important event in the life of Prophet Elijah – a figure of great significance in the Carmelite tradition.

Every day, a large number of Pilgrims visit El-Muhraqa, and this offers new opportunities both from the spiritual and pastoral point of view.

In spite of the different difficulties, the Order is committed to ensure a strong presence in this Sanctuary and to offer the Pilgrims a qualified welcome.

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